VIDEO: Villagers express sadness after fire ravages much-loved Derbyshire hotel
Villagers have expressed their shock after flames ripped through a Peak District hotel and pub.
Firefighters were called to The Old Hall Hotel on Market Place, Hope, at about 6pm on Friday.
At its height eight fire appliances were at the scene, along with an aerial ladder platform.
Nobody was injured in the blaze, which was eventually extinguished by about 10.30pm.
It is believed a deep fat fryer may have caused the fire.
Carole and Jeremy Stanish, of the Blue Apple cafe, which is adjacent to The Old Hall Hotel, were outside packing tables and chairs away when the drama unfolded.
Mr Stanish said: “Staff and customers came running out and stood in the car park.
“It looked like the whole village came out to see what was happening.
“You don’t expect this type of thing to happen on your street but thank goodness nobody was hurt.
“The building is in a bad way.”
Scores of people have taken to the hotel’s Facebook page to give their reaction to the news.
Carole Yates said: “What awful news.
“I love that pub – I’ve spent many happy hours there.”
Helen Savage said the fire-hit building was “a sad sight”.
A spokesman for The Old Hall Hotel, which hosted a major beer festival last weekend, said: “We are sorry to report that the Old Hall has had a fire affecting the short-term running of the pub. The damage is quite severe.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
“The Old Hall will be back just as strong offering the same level of service to all our loyal customers.
“Thank you so much for all the nice comments and offers of support.”
Firefighters from Hathersage, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Buxton, Whaley Bridge and New Mills, along with crews from neighbouring South Yorkshire, battled the blaze.
Police closed the A6187 between Castleton and Bamford to aid the firefighting operation.